Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said in an interview this week that he doesn’t have the authority to grant DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Tommy Arthur. But other governors have ordered DNA testing in death row cases, and Riley hasn’t tested the law in his state. The Innocence Project, which doesn’t represent Arthur, has been calling on Riley to grant testing that could prove Arthur’s innocence.
(Innocence Project Communications Director Eric) Ferrero said while the constitution may not explicitly state the governor has such power, other governors, such as Florida's Jeb Bush and President Bush, when he was governor of Texas, have ordered DNA testing in death row cases.
"Neither of them had an explicit law that said they could do that, but they did. They just felt they had the moral obligation to do that," Ferrero said. "Governors have considerable leeway in cases like this.
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. (Montgomery Advertiser, 12/29/07)
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Read more about Tommy Arthur’s case here